FBI director’s timeline on Rob Porter confidence clearway contradicts White House

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at Senate Intelligence Committee conference on Tuesday that the FBI followed custom and procedures with its credentials review for the confidence clearway of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. His timeline of events, however, does not match the timing that has been put onward by members of the Trump administration. 

“There’s a border to what we can contend about the calm of any sold credentials investigation,” explained Wray. He added,  “I would contend the credentials review routine involves a sincerely elaborate set of standards, guidelines, protocols, agreements, etcetera that have been in place for 20-plus years, and I’m utterly assured in this sold instance the FBI followed determined protocol.”

While he declined to give accurate details, Wray then supposing lawmakers the following timeline into Porter’s confidence investigation:

  • March 2017: FBI submits a prejudiced report on Porter’s credentials investigation
  • Late Jul 2017: A finished credentials review is submitted. Soon thereafter, FBI perceived requests for follow-up inquiry
  • November 2017: Follow-up conducted and information from ask is provided
  • January 2018: FBI administratively closes Porter’s review file
  • February 2018: FBI receives additional information it upheld along 

The timeline has stirred questions about the administration’s claims about its greeting to delays in Porter’s confidence check. White House arch of staff John Kelly pronounced he was “shocked by the new allegations” against Porter, and he became “fully aware” of the allegations until recently. President Trump himself also pronounced he was “saddened and surprised” by the claims.

And as new as Monday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the White House did not learn “of the border of the conditions involving Rob Porter” until last Tuesday, when the allegations became public.

Sanders combined that Porter’s routine for his credentials review was “ongoing” and “hadn’t been completed” and that the White House “had not perceived any specific papers per the execution of that credentials check,” even yet Wray pronounced the FBI finished its review in late July, and the file had been “administratively closed” in January. On Tuesday, Sanders pronounced that while the FBI review was closed, the information was still being processed by the White House crew confidence office. And that process, she said, was ongoing at the time that Porter resigned. 

The White House pronounced it was creatively sensitive of the Porter allegations by the FBI in November, yet Wray pronounced the review was finished in July. Porter was still operative under an halt confidence clearway while the FBI conducted its credentials review and reported its commentary to the White House. 

A matter released by the FBI on Monday addressed the FBI’s role in conducting credentials checks for the administration:

“The FBI does not grant, deny, or differently arbitrate confidence clearances for people on interest of these clients; nor does it make any confidence clearway recommendations.  After the FBI has finished a credentials investigation, it provides the information to the client group decider authority, who determines either to extend or repudiate the confidence clearance.”

The Daily Mail first reported the abuse allegations against Porter, and The Intercept first published photos of Porter’s ex-wife Colbie Holderness with what appears to be a distended and painful eye. Porter has denied all allegations that he abused his ex-wives.

The White House’s doing of Porter’s abdication has lifted questions about either high-ranking officials within the Trump administration had confidence clearances that were suitable to entrance to top-secret information. Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday that the miss of full clearances in place for West Wing staffers “creates a risk since people are going to see rarely personal information coming opposite their desk.”

CBS News’ Emily Tillett, Pat Milton and Arden Farhi contributed to this report. 

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